This is going to be another one of those posts in which you’ll see that maybe baking just isn’t my thing. I blame my wife. Earlier in the day, I set the box out on the dining room table. It was a statement. It was a missive. We were making those cookies. WE WERE MAKING THEM. And by “we,” I mean she was, and I was going to hover and supervise until it came time to decorate. But then the wife decided she needed to do a practice run styling her hair into a bouffant for her Halloween costume, and stranded me to do the cookies all by myself.
Anyway, it seemed like I could do it. The box was cheerful enough. Seriously, how hard could a pre-packaged Peanuts-theme cookie kit be? It only made 12 cookies. Anyone could handle that number of cookies.
But then again, look closer at that box. It looks warm and nostalgic, but there’s something ominous about it. Something not right. Maybe it’s the fact that the Peanuts cartoons preached a sort of wholesomeness and spiritualism that they have completely sold out to commercialism. Maybe it’s the fact that I bought this at a discount wholesale store, and the all the boxes were kind of dented and faded and sad. A big box of sad. Or maybe it’s just me, because I knew I had it coming.
I opened the box and noticed the instructions were about as lengthy as the novel War and Peace. It broke down the steps for kids and adults. But what about directions for people like me? I’m not a kid and not really an adult either. At least not in the baking and cooking sense. I’d have to eat frozen meals all the time if I were left to my own devices.
This wasn’t just break and bake cookies, which are my specialty. This required bowls. Mixers. A rolling pin! EGGS. MEASURING BUTTER. DEAR GOD.
But at this point I was determined to keep pushing through it. Measuring butter can’t be all that hard. I can figure out the mixer thingy. If I can ever find the attachment pieces. Screw it, I’ll do it all with a spoon and raw upper arm strength. Oh god, where do we even keep the rolling pin? Oh god, how do you even get butter to room temperature?
Occasionally I would yell questions up the stairs to the wife. The rolling pin was in the drawer next to the Foreman grill. Put the butter in the microwave for five seconds at a time. Yes, the eggs are still good. Yes, the flour is in the tall canister.
I got this, yo.
And for a while, I was doing pretty good. I was making cookies. I was making a complete mess.
I gave up on the rolling pin after about ten seconds. How do you use that thing? I decided to rely on brute force and upper arm strength to flatten that sucker out. I was covered in flour. And so was the floor. And so was this little nook edge on the oven, and I really have no idea how you’re supposed to get in there and clean that. Oh well. I guess it just stays there forever.
But finally after all that butter melting, egg cracking, and mixing, the fun part could happen. At least what I formerly thought was a fun part: cookie cutters.
COOKIE CUTTERS! I mean, they seem fun, right? Until you have to use them.
Awful. Awful. Somehow I only yielded eight cookies. And none of them were pumpkin shaped. But I didn’t care anymore. At this point, I was filled with a passive-aggressive BAKING RAGE, while the wife was upstairs pinning bobby pins and oblivious to the pure war zone the kitchen had become.
I was sinking fast. I was going down.
The wife had offered to help me decorate them when the time came, but all that passive-aggressive baking rage made me decide TO SHOW HER and do it all myself. SO THERE. I was finally getting to the fun part—the real fun part—and I was keeping it ALL FOR MYSELF. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
HA HA HA.
There weren’t enough candy eyes in the box for even eight cookies. Wack. So I had to improvise and make a couple of cyclops pumpkins. Even though these are a hot mess, I sort of found them each endearing.
Especially the one shaped like Jay Leno with a nonplussed look:
The wife came downstairs and did not seem at all disappointed that she didn’t get to help decorate. In fact she seemed relieved. Her favorite was the smiling snaggletoothed cyclops:
The cookies tasted better than they look, but not by much. Since the nutrition information said there were two hundred calories in each of the twelve cookies, it meant there were about three hundred in each of my eight. Which means that every cookie is basically its own meal. A meal you wouldn’t want. You really, really wouldn’t.
The lesson here is don’t bake and rage. Or just don’t bake if you’re me.